Why You Should Think Carefully When Choosing A Defense Lawyer In New York
When you’re facing charges, you don’t really have time to waste months searching for the perfect criminal defense attorney. On the other hand, a little bit of research and care can make a real difference as you select a legal professional who can provide better results. Often, defendants simply make decisions based on other people’s advice – even when these people are being paid to recommend certain lawyers. This was made adamantly clear recently after a criminal defense lawyer was charged with bribery and making false statements.
Lawyer and Clerk Charged After Serious Conflict of Interest
Recently, a clerk in the Southern District of New York was exposed after receiving bribes from a criminal defense lawyer. The scheme was simple: The clerk was instructed to recommend this particular criminal defense lawyer to defendants that he came into contact with as a result of his normal duties. The defense lawyer paid him to make these recommendations, creating a serious and obvious conflict of interest.
US Attorney Damian Williams stated:
“For years, Figueroa and Del Valle allegedly violated their duties and undermined the fair administration of justice, all for their personal gain. This Office will do its part to uphold the high standards of conduct expected of all those who play a role in the criminal justice process.”
The clerk was specifically prohibited from having any outside employment that would create a conflict of interest – including gifts or other benefits from anyone who had business with the court. He was not allowed to recommend particular attorneys to the general public – whether they paid him or not. Since this individual was acting as a public official, he was also required to adhere to bribery laws.
The criminal defense lawyer allegedly paid the clerk a portion of his legal fees in exchange for these recommendations. This scheme continued for more than a decade, with the clerk recommending the criminal defense lawyer to at least 45 defendants. This resulted in the clerk earning tens of thousands of dollars through illegal bribes. While making these recommendations, the clerk stated that he could vouch for the criminal defense lawyer’s abilities, that this lawyer was a “specialist” with similar cases, and that he could “get them out of trouble.”
Finally, these two individuals were charged with making false statements to law enforcement. The clerk denied ever referring defendants to the lawyer, and the lawyer denied ever paying the clerk. This story not only highlights corruption within New York’s legal system, but it also shows the importance of doing your own research and hiring a criminal lawyer based on facts instead of questionable recommendations.
Where Can I Find a Defense Attorney in New York?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified New York criminal defense attorney, consider Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. Take your time when selecting an attorney, and you can pursue better overall results. Book a consultation with us to discuss the details of your case and receive personalized guidance. From there, you can make up your own mind about whether you’d like to continue with a defense strategy. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.